With the rise of the Internet and disruptive technologies that are now shaping and reshaping the world, big data has revolutionized the competitive world. No longer is data just for the academics and research institutions, but now sports teams, political campaigns, the government and businesses are all buying into the world of big data.
At CFGI’s 2017 Symposium, Fragomen Worldwide speakers exposed the role of big data in business immigration by sharing best practices of integrating big data in decision-making.
“Have you guys realized that when we fell in love with data we all became nerds?” asked Moderator Robert Horsley, Executive Director of Fragomen Worldwide, to his colleagues on the panel – Jonathan Adams and Shawn Orme. Horsley pointed out that when it comes to big data, collecting and interpreting the data isn’t enough, there should be a process behind the data.
“Data on its own isn’t really much, you have to turn it from just plain information into knowledge and then you can make business decisions,” said Horsley.
The panel put big data in the context of the past and future, and commented on how people have been reacting to the increase in the reliance of data within the industry.
“The data of past is reporting or Service Level Agreements (SLA’s), but the future is augmented reality or artificial intelligence,” said Horsley. However, acceptance of data analytics into mainstream has not been without reservations. “A lot of people think that artificial intelligence is going to result in robots that will take their job, but we have research and examples that proves that to be untrue.”
The panel revealed that one of the important things to strive for when using big data is to make sure that the data has integrity. Employers must make sure that the data is being used to answer the correct question, that they identify certain variables which need to be isolated, and that they control for those variables.
“One of the first things you need to consider is your data glossary, which means that everyone has to apply and use the same terms the same way,” said Adams. It is the integrity of the data and the organization of the data glossary that the panel believes will help ensure that a correct process will be used to generate and implement data analysis, which in return will increase confidence in the use of big data.
In the spirit of celebrating big data, the panel integrated live polling of the audience to bring their insights into the discussion. Notably, the overwhelming majority of the audience responded that they had to combine data from multiple sources to make it meaningful. However, a majority felt the data they have is not accurate.
The panel finished off their remarks emphasizing what should be kept in mind when collecting data.
“When you are collecting data, you’re always considering the purpose: whether it be improving cost, quality, or speed,” said Adams. These are the key areas that data can be leveraged to make a difference within an organization.
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